Taking the library out of information literacy games

Lisa Hinchliffe recently started Inspiring Innovation.  I've had the opportunity to work with Lisa as a member of ALA's Gaming and Literacy Expert Panel and I've admired her work in information literacy and library innovation for a while.  Lisa's post from her time at GLLS 2008 rasises a really interesting question:
I wonder if there is a way for students to play a game on a different topic that would enable information literacy skill development and in which success is dependent on high levels of information literacy abilities?
This is an important question that librarians looking a games for learning should be asking.  While libraries are the major advocates of information literacy on our campuses, we do not assume that info lit skills are only being practiced in libraries.  In fact we don't want to be the only ones owning info lit.  Libraries struggle with getting information literacy intergrated into the curriculum and forming partners with subject specific faculty.  Any review of the literature shows numerous articles on these topics.  Lisa question brings information literacy within games to that same level.    I replied with the following:
The next step to gaming within the higher education curriculum is to create games, as you said, "on a different topic that would enable information literacy skill development."  If we think of gaming and information literacy, than just like info lit, the more it is tied to meaningful content the more successful it can be.  

While I've been fortunate to help highlight the work of libraries creating info lit games, we are missing a larger potential.  We can remove the game out of a library context and still teach info lit skills.  And by removing the library context it is possible to remove some of the reluctance that Jenna describe.

There's a lot of work to do on that end, but it's work worth doing.
If we agree that games can help teach and provide practice of information literacy skills, then we should be looking at connecting information literacy to other games (both serious and COTS) that are being developed and used within education.  Librarians work to connect the value of information literacy to classroom content.  Taking a look at how games used in education are applying information literacy skills can help provide additional support for gaming, add value to an already rich experience, and gain some partners for future applications.

Thank you for raising the question Lisa.  I hope that others will join the conversation and continue to find ways to tied information literacy to video games.


Kiara said...

Any form of Download Games, I believe they are educational. That's why there are serious games. And it is widely used in institutions. Some are being incorporated in their lessons to make the learning more interesting, and some use the games for disseminating information. Either way, I hope there will be a continuous development of games.